It’s Imbolc again. Every time the wheel turns I feel a deep sense of the familiar; the time of year, the inevitable reflection upon all that has transpired between this time of year and last, the opportunity to re-acquaint myself with all that this Festival is about; Fire, New Beginnings, Creativity, Poetry, Smith craft and Healing.
Thankfully the Fire has returned!
I am reminded of yet another traditional theme of this Esbat. Imbolc, as one of the cross-quarters of the Celtic calendar, is also traditionally understood to be a time of consecration and dedication. It is a time to initiate new projects and ‘seed through action’ that which we seek to manifest in the coming cycle. It’s time for blessing and acknowledging our tools, whether they be spade and hoe, pen and paper or hammer and forge. The burgeoning of Spring is, in fact, everywhere; Snowdrops are in full fledge, buds are budding. It’s so easy to see the life force rising in nature, but what of this thing called Dedication? Consecration?
This year, in anticipation of the celebration, I have been casting about looking for what it is that needs to be consecrated in my world. I have been made aware, in the past few weeks, of quite how deep and dark and turbulent the winter has been, more perhaps, a description of my inner landscape than without. Uncertainty, isolation, impatience for new growth and signs of life; the very real cold has never been far from my door. It dawned on me today that rather than a tool or a ‘thing’ it is I who needs, indeed yearns for that consecration; it is I, that rising from the cold dark time of winter past, needs to honour the fire within and burn-off the doubts, fears and anxieties that have taken hold. It is I, that seeks re-dedication; to hope, to life and to trust. In the past I have been able to relate to and embrace the poetic, the healing aspects of Brigid’s Feast Day. This year I am learning about the hammer and the forge, not through the smithy but rather through the furnace of life. It is I upon the forge, it is I swinging the hammer but it is the Goddess in the Fire.
And so, I shall begin again, remembering that I have everything I need for the creation of new life. These next weeks will not be a time for complacency, these tender shoots will require constant tending and protection. But for now, for today, I dedicate myself anew to trust, hope and an abiding sense of connection to all of creation.